All wheel drive cars


Asked by Nov 03, 2015 at 09:13 PM about the 2015 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

I am looking to replace my new Subaru Forester with another full time all
wheel drive car. As far as I know the RAV4, Ford Escape and the Honda CRV
are all part time AWD which really does not cut it in snow country.  The
Cadillac SRX can be had in AWD which I think is full time and is about the
same size as the Forester but is not really in my price range.  

Any other suggestions for full time all wheel drive SUV's or wagons that are
good in snow?

22 Answers


We like our 2014 Lincoln MKZ V6 very much and had good success with our 2009 Infiniti G37x. Both are AWD and both have had zero issues, but neither is an SUV. Perhaps look at the new Ford Edge. The AWD segment is rather lacking in choices.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

The Subaru Outback is the number one vehicle in the snow and it is well populated all over the northeast and northwest. And, Subaru has established itself as the AWD leader since they have been building and perfecting this in all their cars since 1972. You can find this information all over the Internet. An article published in November listed a number of vehicles with Outback at the top of the list , followed by the Subaru Crosstrek, and Forester in third. The only Ford mentioned on the list was the Expedition and it did not fare well. The Nissan Juke and Nissan Rogue were near the bottom of the list. And, the Cadillac SRX was in the middle. No mention anywhere about the Lincoln MKZ. Subaru has been perfecting their AWD for 43 years and no matter how you spin it, that's a long time. Sure, there's been problems with recent oil burning issues, and they're addressing them with their clients. Lots of other car manufacturers are dealing with oil burning issues as well as Toyota and Audi. I think it's the pressure on car manufacturers to get better fuel-efficiency on their cars and they are going to lighter oil viscosity and making other engine tweaks. I'm sure that this will all get sorted out. The issue with the oil consumption pales to the debacle facing VW and Porsche right now on disel cars. SO, if you need a reliable wagon or car to get you out of the snow, it's hard to beat the Outback. By the way, that's data from that report was from over 45,000 people.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Bob- how are your cars in the snow? My 4wd Expedition is at least as good as a Subaru in snow and in deep snow a Subaru cannot match it. The Nissan cars have their pathetic CVT which rules them out for me.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Be more helpful? Size? Price range? Hwy or off-road?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I am looking for an all wheel drive wagon or SUV for use on the road or on gravel roads, not a 4wd model . A reasonably economical car would be preferable. I have a F-150 and a Expedition 4x4.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

@Full_of_Regrets....The Infiniti G37x is real good in the snow. The Lincoln MKZ AWD is new to us and hasn't made it through a winter yet. The limiting factor on our Lincoln will be the low ground clearance. I live in South Central Kansas so we don't get snow continuously through the winter, but we do get dumped on now and then. As you know proper tires are a very important part of getting around in the snow AWD or 2WD. My 2013 F-150 Lariat Super Crew does pretty well in the snow.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

AWD is convenient and might make you feel safer, but its only real common use is accelerating from a stop in snow.


Full_of_Regrets- as you know the ground clearance of the Subaru Outback and Forester is 8.7 inches.


I know what their clearance is but that is somewhat misleading as 4x4 trucks may technically have 8" of clearance but that is measured to the lowest point when the rest of the chassis is much higher whereas a Subaru has the entire chassis at 8" off the ground. I can drive my stock F-150 though 18" of snow with out any problem where as a Subaru will struggle in 6" of snow. You can keep banging the Subaru drum but that issue is dead for me. I have a 2003 Forester so I know exactly what they can do and not do.


Full_of_Regrets, just curious? What year is your F-150?


2002. All stock except for overloads front and rear to handle the snow plow. I use it to plow snow in the winter, haul firewood and tow my 16' trailer.


My wife drives a G37x, which I refer to as 'The Super Subaru", as it's a better version of the Legacy 3.6R with far more aluminum than junk steel. Whereas at lower speeds I prefer Subie's more neutral steering, the G37x is the better very high speed vehicle. Its +/-5% ATTESA AWD trigger is flawless, and allows use of mildly-staggered tire/wheel setups. Although I use whatever Outback I'm working on to "plow" up to 18" of snow in my driveways, I've become somewhat comically stranded a few times atop packed plateaux! Both these systems (as well the Northern Germans) are great not just in starting from a stop, but in controlling slippery rear ends when powering through wet twisties. But c'mon...a big truck with crude 4WD is the brute ya want for plowing the stuff.


Just reread the OP. Five doors doesn't mean I suggest the Infiniti EX35...just too inefficient spatially. After a reasonably rugged (yet wonky) Forester you're correct in that you will NOT be satisfied by the RAV, CRV or most other sport "cutes". At least the handling of the Mazda CX-5 is nice, despite being another goofy crossover. If you're up for taking advantage of the strong USD I'd gray- market-back a new Legacy GT (non-turbo) Wagon from Europe and leave us all crying in lust!


If Subaru can drag their reputation back out of the gutter and show without a doubt that the oil consumption issue is solved I will seriously reconsider my choice but that will take several years and at this point I think they are in coverup mode as to the extent of the problem. I know I caught my dealer telling some whoppers about the number of cars they replacing short blocks on.


To date I've prepped only up to 2012 Subies, save for a '13 Imp, so haven't personally witnessed any oil consumption scenario that wasn't caused by skinny 0w20 synth oil, so I'm sticking with 10w40 dino year round and 20w50 summer for old bleeders. The only great all-rounder you can buy new from Toyoburu now anyway is the Legacy Prem/Ltd Sedan 2.5i (although the Imp 2.0 will come into its own once fuel doubles back to $4/g). It's a sad situation (unless you're European).


My sister in law, against my recommendation, just purchased a 2016 Outback. My wife got a ride in it last week and asked her what she thought and she said one word, CHEAP. The problem is my wife is trying to compare it to a Lincoln and that is a very unfair comparison. I really hope my sister in law has nothing but trouble with the new Subaru cause I hate those cars with a passion. LOL.


Compared to our 2003 Forester the new one is pretty nice except in the functionality department. The one with 200,000 miles on it runs better and doesn't use nearly as much oil! I have to check out the Explorer and the Lincoln equivalent what ever that is.


Bob: Ha! I suspect "cheap" is the condensed version of "wobbly and floaty, and tippy in the corners"? Because if you take all the parts and slam them down a few inches and mount suitably stiff rubber you get a remarkably fine Legacy Sedan. She'd be shocked by the difference.... So I suggest you might soften your bias and separate the wheat from the chaff. This is also true for the majority of brands, of course.


I guess the Lincoln equivalent SUV is the MKC. They are just redesigned and have had some teething issues, but they don't use oil (lol). We test drove one when we purchased the MKZ and the wife liked the MKZ better. The MKZ is the wife's ride so I went with what she wanted. Our MKZ doesn't review very well, but most of the issues the reviewers had was the infotainment system. Since we already have the same infotainment system in my 2013 F150, we were well acquainted with it and have had no issues. It seems some of the reviewers lack the smarts to learn to use the system. Overall I think the older Subarus are better than the new ones. The new ones just have too many serious issues. Maybe Subaru will get things worked out and maybe not. Time will tell.


Gentlemen (this does not include Mark).... Please do not take any offence to anything I have posted negatively about Subaru. It is not my intention to piss anyone off (except Mark). All I know is that Subarus will never be for me. If you have success with them and like them that is fine by me. Opinions can be varied and interesting.


I frankly don't think Toyoburu is a good merge. I wish they'd partnered with Mazda, as both are famous for innovative engineering and a passion for great handling, but Toyota had the big pocketbook to front retooling for 2010 and for ramping production for expanding markets for too-tall SUVs in the midwest and south. Corporate even apologized to their prior market base when allowing that prior owners will be disapoointed with the lack of sportiness in the future. But that's how ya get from 2% to 3% market share to date. Sigh...makes me push retirement closer. Wish they'd put the 2.5i into the Imp Wag and raise it one inch...right between the current Premium and the silly Crosstrek overkill. But a great 5 door highway cruiser? "Not for North America" is the corporate position. Now i need ice cream...or chocolate.


T'sokay, Bob. I used to love A4 and S4 back in the 2.7tt days.

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